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GreenTech and the Obama Budget

New York (HedgeCo.net) – GreenWorld Capital reports: “President Obama has put his weight behind a new budget that sends a clear message: despite Congressional gridlock, the administration will push forward on cleantech. The budget reflects Obama’s promise to triple US cleantech investment over the next four years as well as his G20 pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. Cleantech has become a centerpiece of the Obama budget and the administration has made it clear that it will use the president’s veto power to get this budget passed. “

Following is a summary by agency:

  • Department of Energy: $3-5 billion in loan guarantees for energy efficiency and renewable energy, $4.7 billion in cleantech investment and $144 million for smart-grid research;
  • Department of the Interior: $73 million for fast-tracking permits for renewable energy projects on federal lands, with a goal of offering permits for at least 9,000 megawatts of new solar, wind, and geothermal electricity by the end of 2011, plus $85 million to foster 14,000 new green jobs;
  • Department of Transportation: $530 million for sustainable transportation; and
  • Environmental Protection Agency: $21 million to implement the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule and $56 million to address climate change through regulatory initiatives.

The biggest winners over last year’s budget are solar, GreenWorld Capital says, wind and geothermal, which will see annual increases in the range of 25%-50%. The big loser will be petroleum. The budget eliminates $36.5 billion in tax breaks to the oil and natural gas industry and cuts $2.3 billion for the coal sector between 2011 and 2020. In 2008, the Senate curtailed Obama’s attempts to cut petroleum subsidies. However, this year’s emphasis on fiscal responsibility gives Obama cover to fight the petroleum lobby. The other rallying point is US economic recovery. Obama has argued that cleantech investment will fuel US economic growth, a message underscored in his 2010 State of the Union Address.

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